Smilegov Workshop in Athens: The Aegean Islands learning to work with stakeholders

The 3rd local workshop of the Greek cluster took place in Athens on Sunday 19th of April shading light to one of the common barriers identified by the Smilegov islanders; the communication and collaboration with stakeholders during the planning and implementation of sustainable energy projects. Representatives from the cluster members, mainly municipal employees, attended the workshop contributing significantly to the discussions and works. The workshop was launched with short presentations from DAFNI about local sustainable energy planning, sustainable islands mobility and the upcoming calls of European programmes. Then using as example the installation of a wind park on an island as a hypothetical but common project from most of the cluster members the participants with the facilitation of the DAFNI personnel tried to collectively identify the barriers related to this project, the respective involved stakeholders and their interests to the project but also propose ways to include them effectively in decision making processes. In order to highlight the different issues that the “same” project can raise at local level two versions were adopted; the first framing a small-scale project with the participation of the municipality in the investment while the second a large-scale project without any involvement of the municipality. Making use of the “Guide on Stakeholders Analysis” developed under Smilegov the participants went through the different steps of the methodology and produced interesting results regarding the opportunities and conflicts that similar projects can create at local level and how proactive management of these projects, taking into account the whole range of stakeholders, can deliver better results. At the end of the workshop it was decided to revisit the methodology during the 4th Smilegov workshop focusing on other projects that interest the participants. Furthermore, the participants were informed that the core content of the 4th local workshop will be about innovative financing mechanisms for the realisation of sustainable energy projects.